Preferential Treatment for Long Standing "Elite" Members

Mark BettsMark Betts Suspended
edited December 2018 in The Styx
Eutychus wrote: »
<admin mode in the absence of any available hosts right now>

@Mark Betts, do I see you at the centre of yet another threadjack? If you persist in dragging threads way off-topic with blatant disregard for everything and everyone else, you can expect some shore leave. Consider yourself warned.

@Martin54, stop yanking @Mark Betts' chain irrelevantly or do so on a dedicated thread. There seem to be open ones for both of you in Hell right now. You're becoming tiresome here too. No need to respond: just comply.

</admin mode>

I'm not claiming that I've done no wrong, but I would have thought it fairer if we'd both had warnings, especially as in this case it was the other person (a long standing contributor) who began the tangent - shouldn't he know better?

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Comments

  • Looks to me like you were both warned. Hence the highlighting of both your names.
  • That's not how I read it.
  • If I were seeking mere clarification, I'd have chosen a less provocative thread title...
  • As a mere Shipmate with no dog in this fight, it looks to me as if you were both warned.
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    I read that post from Eutychus as warning both Mark Betts and Martin54, equally. And something that was overdue. I was getting irritated enough with Martin54 to wonder whether to start putting together a Hell post on the already existing thread with links to the lengthening list of his more unhelpful posts to flag what a pain he was being.
  • I think, Mark Betts, that you are really referring to the wording being different - less explicit re planking as far as Martin54 was concerned.

    Writing style generally results in the wording being different to avoid unnecessary repetition.

    Longstanding in this case does not mean elite so much as "the warning can be less explicit because Martin54's been here long enough to have been warned before and can read between the lines"

    I think you can rest assured that if neither of you change the way you are posting then there will be a second splash to equal your own. Euty is nothing if not fair that way :)
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    As a longstanding member, who is a private board host (and occasional 8th day host) = so might count as "elite", I can assure you that we do not expect or receive preferential treatment.

    In my long experience on the boards, I think we do know exactly how close to the line we can sail before drawing the attention of the admins. Which can seem like preferrential treatment (but isn't). But if we behave in ways that are against the 10C we will suffer the consequences just like anyone else.

    As others have said, the wording is different, because Martin has been in the same situation before. He understands, because he has been there before. But be assured, if he breaks the rules, he will suffer as much as you.
  • Mark Betts wrote: »

    I'm not claiming that I've done no wrong, but I would have thought it fairer if we'd both had warnings, especially as in this case it was the other person (a long standing contributor) who began the tangent - shouldn't he know better?

    I think the mistake you are making here is assuming that posters you might imagine are elite are universally liked by the Powers That Be and therefore given extra chances that others don't get.

    In reality many long-standing members have been around the block several times and have experienced sanctions for their behaviour.


  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    You are just as long standing as many of the rest of us @Mark Betts - you joined the Old Ship around the time I did IIRC.
  • Mark Betts wrote: »
    I'm not claiming that I've done no wrong, but I would have thought it fairer if we'd both had warnings, especially as in this case it was the other person (a long standing contributor) who began the tangent - shouldn't he know better?

    Firstly, everybody who has posted so far has it pretty much right.

    Secondly, your inability to discern the fact that two people were warned, with their names highlighted, in a post you've taken the time to quote but apparently not to read for content, is exactly the sort of chronic self-centeredness that keeps getting you into trouble.

    Thirdly,
    as in this case it was the other person (a long standing contributor) who began the tangent
    is exactly the kind of infantile "but miss, he started it" that has been getting you a bad name on more than one thread.

    It leads to pointless bickering, uses up valuable bandwidth, drives away other posters (apart from people stupid enough to respond) - thus killing the threads in question - and makes the longsuffering hosts' eyes bleed.

    Whether or not other posters "know better" is none of your concern and beyond your ability to control. You should know better - and you do have the ability to do something about it.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    When I saw the title to this thread, I immediately imagined whether there was some sort of special Captain's Table or Wardroom, a panelled and carpetted Private Board only accessible by private invitation, where selected fellow voyagers are plied with rum cocktails by stewards in white mess jackets. How had I never guessed? What does one have to do to get the right nod and a wink? Does it include having to wear a special apron, and knowing the right electronic handshakes?
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    Years ago, an elite membership was floated as an idea. One of possible ways of fundraising could be people paid a subscription for additional benefits. I don't think it got beyond an idea.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    One thing is for sure. Any hypotheticial elite membership would not include any special concessions over 10Cs and guidelines.

    We all build up a track record and a cyber-reputation by the way in which we post here. That applies to Admin, Hosts and Shipmates. None of us is in control of what others make of our posting patterns, Commandment 5 contains very good advice
    5. Don’t easily offend, don’t be easily offended – Disagreement is normal here. Try not to nurse hurt feelings. Conversely, if you know you’ve screwed up, admit it without excuse. We’ve all had to at some point.
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    I don't think such a thing as elite members exists. Now, bring me my GIN.
  • Shouldn't that be RUM? We're at sea, after all.
  • Stop disclosing all the Elite Members' secret passwords!
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    Whoops! {Grovels abjectly}
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Some of us have been passengers on the Ship for a very long time, and well do we remember discussion after discussion re "the In crowd." Time has taught me that there really isn't any such thing. It's only natural that some Shipmates will be seen as more pleasant to have around than others. There are several I've learned not to engage with, and I'm sure there are some who prefer not to engage with me.

    And there's not one old-timer who hasn't been hauled down to the brig on one occasion or two. But we learn from our mistakes and are still here. None of us are being held captive.
  • Some of us have been passengers on the Ship for a very long time, and well do we remember discussion after discussion re "the In crowd." Time has taught me that there really isn't any such thing. It's only natural that some Shipmates will be seen as more pleasant to have around than others. There are several I've learned not to engage with, and I'm sure there are some who prefer not to engage with me.

    And there's not one old-timer who hasn't been hauled down to the brig on one occasion or two. But we learn from our mistakes and are still here. None of us are being held captive.

    That's sound advice Amanda - sometimes you have to hold things in your thoughts. Occasionally you might find you've been wrong about someone and change your mind - but I don't expect that happens very often.
  • finelinefineline Purgatory Host
    You may find, Mark, that it's often not as black and white as people holding a firm and fast view of someone that can't change. As with life in general, people often grow and change over time, and also you get to know different aspects of people over time, as you see how they respond in different situations. It's not usually a case of being 'right' or 'wrong' about someone, I don't think (I think we all know that the words we see on the screen aren't the entire person) - more an acknowledgement that more can be learnt over time, and that people can change, and an openness to that.

    But, as Amanda says, people will naturally feel more affinity with people who express themselves in a way that shows consideration and friendliness than with people who express themselves in a way that seems hostile or self-absorbed.
  • Shippies! Why be a deck-swabber when you could be an Elite? Qualifications include minimum 5k posts, the hermeneutical skills to punch a hole in a tractate, a black belt in empathetic interlineality and troll-flattening wit.

    Rewards include membership of all Cabals, Inner Circles, Secret Councils and Ascended Masters, plus a really cool lapel badge.

    No need to join. If you are One, you already know it.
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    And never mention the Rosy Cross.

    I have been around since the last but one incarnation of the ship. It must be approaching 20 years. I have fallen foul of the admins and regulations more than once. Some people don't like me, others do (and the feeling is mutual usually).

    But it changes. There is at least one shipmate whose views I utterly reject, but who I like as a person (and I have learnt to like them). This changes and is fluid. As fineline says, being considerate and open is the core of this. Disagreement is expected. Unpleasantness is not.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    It's the panelled, carpeted Wardroom and the rum cocktails that appeals to me.
  • As a member of the elite, let me tell you it's not all it's cracked up to be. The hors d'oeuvres are usually gone by the time I get off work, and the GIN is watery off-brand stuff. I'm sorry now I bought the lifetime membership. At least the restrooms are clean.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    The hors d'oeuvres are usually gone by the time I get off work, and the GIN is watery off-brand stuff.
    Nothing new: see 1 Corinthians 11:21.

  • Enoch wrote: »
    When I saw the title to this thread, I immediately imagined whether there was some sort of special Captain's Table or Wardroom, a panelled and carpetted Private Board only accessible by private invitation, where selected fellow voyagers are plied with rum cocktails by stewards in white mess jackets. How had I never guessed? What does one have to do to get the right nod and a wink? Does it include having to wear a special apron, and knowing the right electronic handshakes?

    You need to have a Ph.D. One 'O' level in Art doesn't cut it.
  • edited December 2018
    mousethief wrote: »
    As a member of the elite, let me tell you it's not all it's cracked up to be.
    That might raise the question of which elite you're a member of. The long-standing elite, or one of the newly formed elites?

  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    It's like old money and new money.
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    As a general reminder, snark regarding this topic is better suited for Hell1. While we do need to be somewhat broadminded on this board regarding Commandments, its primary purpose of airing systemic questions should not be compromised. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

    -RooK
    Styx Host



    1 Or maybe Heaven, if it's funny enough without being overly surly.
  • Mark BettsMark Betts Suspended
    Being serious, I do think I was wrong about the status of long-standing members. It is not that at all, it is academic achievement which gives one a place in the (not entirely imaginary) "elite".

    That explains why comments by persons with Ph.D.s are more highly regarded, even when they actually know very little about the subject being discussed. Their views are taken more seriously due to who they are, rather than what they know. I suppose Master's degrees count for something as well, but you wouldn't ever be able to reach the top rung of the "hierarchy."

    This is why non-academics like myself don't feel welcome, but rather "suffered" by the "elite." So, if you are such a person (the former), you can have views of your own, but you must always give way to those of higher learning, or suffer the consequences.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Honestly, that is not a picture of the Ship I recognise at all. I've been on and off since 2001 and must confess to be ignorant of the academic qualifications of many here. As far as I see it, people are judged on the strength of their arguments (Purg esp) and how they hold a discussion -- listening and responding to others being a useful trait.
  • There is no preferential treatment meted out on the basis of academic achievement.

    Apart from anything else, we have no obvious way of verifying members' claims as to their qualifications and no desire to do so.

    What you will find, however, is that opinions will be challenged.

    It is not unusual for people to wander in here who think they are well-informed, be it about English grammar in use or Orthodoxy or anything else - perhaps because in their real-life circle of acquaintances they come across as such. But here they bump into people who are in fact better-informed, and can cite their sources.

    How people respond to cogent arguments challenging things they felt sure about is a good measure of their open-mindedness.

    If they respond by descending to criticising people's use of English, or playground "he started it", or similar, rather than interacting on topic, people will rapidly lose patience with them.

    (By the way, my highest academic qualification is a BA).
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    @Mark Betts said -
    This is why non-academics like myself don't feel welcome, but rather "suffered" by the "elite." So, if you are such a person (the former), you can have views of your own, but you must always give way to those of higher learning, or suffer the consequences.

    I don’t agree with that idea either.

    I’m very much one of the non-academic posters but I’ve never felt unwelcome.

    Why don’t you give your own attitude some thought rather than looking for others to blame? The way we post is bound to affect the way people reply.
  • DavidDavid Shipmate
    How one is received by others on board doesn’t depend upon academic qualifications; it depends upon how one behaves to others on board.
  • I think too that one has to be prepared for occasional "rudeness which wasn't intended to be rude" - one problem with chatrooms, message boards, emails or even old-fashioned letters is that one cannot hear the tone of voice that's being used. One person's intended light-hearted jocularity can all too easily be interpreted as snarky criticism.
  • Mark BettsMark Betts Suspended
    Perhaps it isn't so much to do with how these "elite" are treated by the hosts/admin, but more about how they are respected on the boards by other posters (a certain group it appears to me, not all other posters). The amount of veneration they command quite often bears no relation to how much they actually know or understand about the subject being discussed.
  • It has been clarified that the warning you quoted in your OP was addressed to two posters, not just you.

    You don't seem to have disputed that since.

    It has further been clarified, in response to a new objection on your part, that no preferential treatment is granted on the basis of academic qualifications, not least because we have no way of verifying these.

    You seem to have backed off that allegation too, now.

    Now you are making a third, vague allegation, claiming that some mysterious, un-named group of people command respect irrespective of their knowledge of the topic in hand.

    It's hard to take these shifting allegations seriously, but I'll try.

    I'd say people command respect first and foremost, as @David has said, not on the basis of their amount of knowledge but on the basis of their respect for others here as demonstrated in their posts.
  • Mark BettsMark Betts Suspended
    Anyone would think that I was the first and only person, ever, to bring this issue of "elitism" up - but I know that simply isn't true. If comments were to the effect of, "it's mainly you, but others contribute," then I might be more inclined to give them some consideration.
  • So now the allegation has changed again.

    It's no longer about the existence of an elite but about an alleged practice of elitism.

    What do you perceive as grounds for this alleged elitism? Bear in mind we've already ruled out academic qualifications and that as has been pointed out, you have been around on the boards since April 2012.
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    edited January 1
    Long standing posters may have gained respect over the years for the way they have posted on the boards. It may be because what they say is consistently thoughtful, witty, or well-informed. It will almost certainly be because they respect the board rules and culture and the other posters they interact with.

    Something that has been commented on for years, is that if the last post on a thread is from someone other Shipmates think is worth reading, they are more likely to click on that link and read the thread. Many of us read any thread where ken* was the last poster, for example, because his posts would be interesting and well-informed, and even when he was transgressing the rules the irascible rants were erudite and entertaining.

    Other names as the last name on a thread could mean that Shipmates do not bother to click on that thread and read it, because experience suggests that what is there are unsubstantiated opinions, ill-informed comments, polemics, aggressive attacks from already known positions or tangential or opaquely framed posts that do not add to the discussion.

    * using ken as an example because I don't want to single out anyone currently posting

    eta - cross post with the last two posts
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    Board hosts have zero ability to dictate how Shipmates respond to posts. The only tool in our kits is the shovel we're given to clean these Augean stables after the fact that someone's just shit all over a thread.

    I'm getting the feeling that what you perceive as either elitism or preferential treatment is what is generally recognized as 'community standing', which is built up over many small interactions over a period of time. Some posters have reputations of being decent, knowledgeable, willing to learn and quick to apologise. Other posters can say 'the sky is blue' and the Ship leans precariously to port as everyone peers through the nearest porthole to check.

    You build the reputation you carry with you. It has nothing to do with academic qualifications and everything to do with behaviour. Let the reader understand.
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    Mark Betts wrote: »
    Anyone would think that I was the first and only person, ever, to bring this issue of "elitism" up - but I know that simply isn't true. If comments were to the effect of, "it's mainly you, but others contribute," then I might be more inclined to give them some consideration.

    Various people have brought this up at different times over the years. And it is always refuted, because it isn't true.

    Some shipmates get given more respect because they earn it. Nothing more. The longer someone has been posting, the more they will have found a style that works which works for them and for others.
  • finelinefineline Purgatory Host
    edited January 1
    Mark, something I've noticed on the Ship in general is that there seem to be more educated/upper middle class people here than on some other online communities. At the risk of making a bit of a broad stereotype, I have put this down to there being a lot of C of E folks here - I've noticed the same on other sites with a lot of C of E folks. Communities that are largely evangelical have a bit of a different vibe, class wise. (I have since noticed the same difference when going to C of E churches, retreats, etc. In fact, I use the Ship as a kind of internal reference point for understanding them.)

    I felt different for a long time (even though I have a couple of degrees - no PhD though), because I'm from more of a working class background, my jobs and social circle are generally on the lower end of the social class scale, and I grew up going to evangelical churches. I still do feel a bit different, actually - mostly in Heaven threads when people are expressing norms quite different from mine. I remember once some horror being expressed that I drain rice in a sieve rather than cooking it so precisely that there is no water left! And more recently when people were talking about braised red cabbage, I did think 'How posh!' (it might not be posh, to be fair - I'd just never come across it in any Christmas meals I've enountered). And yes, quite a few people do talk casually about working towards a PhD, which is something I don't encounter anywhere else.

    But it's not deliberate snobbery or exclusion - people are expressing their norms. And when you get to know people more, you realise you're not the only one - there are also plenty of others who don't fit the upper middle class Brit 'norm.' People from lower socio-economic backgrounds, people from evangelical backgrounds, and of course quite a few Americans and people from other countries too.

    From what I observed in the thread you are talking about, though, I saw a bit of a different dynamic. You 'started it' (as you like to say) by belittling someone's points by saying that they weren't a native English speaker, and that therefore you knew better than them, your English was better than theirs, etc. That is rude, and also inaccurate logic. Plenty of people whose first language isn't English have a better command of English than quite a few native speakers. And yes, this may well be because they are fortunate enough to have a higher level of education.

    This person's PhD was pointed out because you were continually belittling his ability to make a valid point on the basis of his not being a native English speaker. You did this because he pointed out you were using a word wrongly. He was right. You were using a word wrongly. He didn't say 'Mark Betts, you only have an O level in art and therefore you can't possibly know what this word means!' That would have been rude. But no one knew your level of education until you mentioned it. Rather he gave you the dictionary definition of the word. Just as you sometimes give a dictionary definition of a word. People are quite free to give dictionary definitions of words being used wrongly, regardless of whether English is their first language.
  • Mark BettsMark Betts Suspended
    Eutychus wrote: »
    It has been clarified that the warning you quoted in your OP was addressed to two posters, not just you.

    You don't seem to have disputed that since.

    It has further been clarified, in response to a new objection on your part, that no preferential treatment is granted on the basis of academic qualifications, not least because we have no way of verifying these.

    You seem to have backed off that allegation too, now.

    Now you are making a third, vague allegation, claiming that some mysterious, un-named group of people command respect irrespective of their knowledge of the topic in hand.

    It's hard to take these shifting allegations seriously, but I'll try.

    I'd say people command respect first and foremost, as @David has said, not on the basis of their amount of knowledge but on the basis of their respect for others here as demonstrated in their posts.

    I could just mention something I noticed on the now closed An Orthodox Crisis Over Ukraine? thread.

    As you know, you yourself expressed opinions very similar to mine, having yourself actually met some of these people. Yet, the posters we are discussing here, the very people you are defending, weren't the slightest bit interested in what you had to say and stuck with their version of events as they saw them (I mean pro-western, pro Bartholomew I, anti Russian.) Your experience counted for nothing here, as far as they were concerned.

    Why then, are you defending them? Why do you not acknowledge that this "elitism" even went over your head? I'll agree that it's difficult to define, but that's not the same as saying it doesn't exist, when even you have felt its affects.
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    As someone who read and commented on @Eutychus's post, he and I have agreed to disagree and/or learned from each other across many threads and years. (In some areas I have just read Eutychus on a subject, the slugging it out tends to happen when I don't agree.)
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited January 1
    @Mark Betts to paraphrase Voltaire, I may disagree with others' views on Russian Orthodoxy in Ukraine, but I will defend to the hilt their right to express those differing views provided (in this context) that they do so respecting our board culture and its Ten Commandments.

    You seem to be equating "elitism" with "holding a different opinion to mine". That's an unusual definition to say the least.

    [x-post]
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited January 1
    Mark Betts wrote: »
    Yet, the posters we are discussing here, the very people you are defending, weren't the slightest bit interested in what you had to say.

    As a point of order, this isn't true. I can't be bothered to go back and look right now, but at least one other person acknowledged my point of view (which I hesitate to equate with yours, by the way) and conceded there might be some truth in it.

    [ETA:
    (In some areas I have just read Eutychus on a subject, the slugging it out tends to happen when I don't agree.)

    Also, this. It helps to assume that a lack of response signals a lack of disagreement, or at least that others are tacitly conceding the point.]
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    Eutychus wrote: »
    Also, this. It helps to assume that a lack of response signals a lack of disagreement, or at least that others are tacitly conceding the point.]

    That's not always true. Sometimes the silence is because people can't be bothered to argue the point any longer and are hoping that if they leave it alone the thread will die. Well, that's what I was hoping for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church thread.

  • Eutychus wrote: »
    Also, this. It helps to assume that a lack of response signals a lack of disagreement, or at least that others are tacitly conceding the point.]

    That's not always true. Sometimes the silence is because people can't be bothered to argue the point any longer and are hoping that if they leave it alone the thread will die. Well, that's what I was hoping for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church thread.
    No, but it is sometimes true—especially for those who don’t have strong opinions either way and who don’t feel they have much substantive to contribute, and who are following the discussion much like they might follow a discussion on TV.

  • I stopped contributing on the Ukraine thread - indeed, I stopped reading it, like almost everybody else, I expect - because it had become a futile point-scoring "discussion" about points of grammar.

    More generally, if my posts don't get a response (unless I've asked a specific poster to respond) I implement good advice given by somebody here (I can't remember who) long ago: I comfort myself with the vain illusion that the best explanation is that everybody else is left lost for words by the brilliant point I made in the post.

    This is most probably far from the truth, but it makes me feel good inside.
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